Goodnotes Vs Notability

Are you wondering which note-taking app to use for your studies or work?

GoodNotes and Notability, two of the most popular iOS note-taking apps, are often compared.


We will review both apps and compare their features to help you decide which one is the better fit for you.

GoodNotes Pricing

GoodNotes is a highly rated note-taking app with over 74,000+ reviews in the Apple App Store and the winner of the Apple iPad App of the Year Award in 2022.

It offers a one-time purchase of $7.99 for full access to all its features, making it an affordable option for those looking for a full-featured app without the need for recurring fees.

GoodNotes is available on iPad, iPhone, and Mac devices, and they have plans to release Windows and Android versions soon. There is a limited free plan available that gives users access to some features with certain restrictions on editing and syncing.

The unique benefits of choosing GoodNotes over other note-taking apps include its flashcard maker feature, thorough organization system with infinite nesting folders, and the ability to receive all updates and new features without any additional cost.

With GoodNotes, users can enjoy a convenient and powerful note-taking experience that is affordable and customizable.

Notability Pricing

Notability is another popular note-taking app with over 26,000+ reviews in the Apple App Store. It has a slightly different pricing model compared to GoodNotes, requiring a yearly subscription of $14.99 for access to most of its features.

Notability offers a free version with some limitations on editing and syncing, as well as a discounted first-year subscription of $11.99.

Notability’s unique features include math conversions for equations, an efficient navigation sidebar, and a link-sharing feature for sharing notes.

However, some of these features may be locked behind the subscription, making it a more expensive option compared to GoodNotes. Notability is available on iPad, iPhone, and Mac devices, which makes it versatile across Apple’s ecosystem.

While both GoodNotes and Notability offer a plethora of powerful tools for note-taking and organizing, the main difference lies in their pricing models.

GoodNotes’ one-time purchase appeals to those who prefer a single payment for a complete app experience, while Notability’s yearly subscription model may cater to users who need constant updates and support. Ultimately, the choice between the two apps depends on individual needs and preferences.

User interface comparison

When comparing the user interfaces of GoodNotes and Notability, it is evident that both apps have put in effort to create visually appealing and easy-to-use interfaces.

However, there are key differences that may help users decide which app suits their needs and preferences better.

GoodNotes offers a choice between list and grid layouts for organizing and viewing notes. This allows users to easily find and access their notes according to their own visual preference.

Additionally, GoodNotes focuses on customization options for individual pages and notebooks, letting users create a personalized notetaking environment.

In terms of organization, GoodNotes also comes out ahead with its infinite nesting folders, providing users with a more thorough organization system.

On the other hand, Notability provides a more streamlined user interface with a simple navigation sidebar. This makes it quick and efficient to switch between subjects and notes without too much clutter on the screen.

While Notability has a more minimal approach in terms of customization, it still offers a clean and intuitive workspace for users to easily jot down their notes and ideas. Notability also allows for easy rearrangement of pages within a notebook, offering users flexibility in organizing their content.

Notetaking features

Both GoodNotes and Notability offer a suite of powerful notetaking tools, which is what makes them top contenders in the digital notetaking marketplace.

These tools include pens, highlighters, erasers, lasso, and text box features. However, there are some differences in features and capabilities that may sway users towards one app over the other.

GoodNotes’ pencil tools offer shading features, tilting for maximum comfort, and pressure sensitivity, giving users a more natural and realistic writing experience.

The app also has a unique flashcard maker feature, which can be especially helpful for students studying for exams. GoodNotes users can also easily import PDFs and other objects into their notes, allowing for annotated, bookmarked notes for future reference.

Notability, on the other hand, focuses on efficiency with a straightforward selection of tools. One unique feature offered by Notability is math conversion, allowing users to convert equations into typed text.

Moreover, Notability offers audio recording capabilities, enabling users to capture lectures or meetings while simultaneously taking notes. This feature can be a significant advantage for users who want to review recorded audio alongside their notes.

Overall, both GoodNotes and Notability offer robust digital notetaking features, but the choice between the two will ultimately boil down to the user’s preferences and needs.

GoodNotes might be more suitable for those who prefer customization and personalization options, whereas Notability is better for users who value quick and efficient notetaking with additional audio recording functionality.

Document Organization

One of the key factors in deciding between GoodNotes and Notability is the structure and organization of documents within the respective apps.

GoodNotes has a more comprehensive approach to organization with infinite nesting folders, allowing users to structure their notes neatly and conveniently store them in multiple levels.

Not only does this help in keeping information classified according to user preferences, but it also makes it easier to find specific notes later on.

On the other hand, Notability has a simpler but efficient organization system that consists of subjects, dividers, and a more navigable sidebar.

With up to five folder levels, users can arrange their notes within subjects and further categorize them using dividers.

Although not as versatile as the GoodNotes system, Notability’s organization remains clear and user-friendly.

Both applications also allow users to import documents, such as PDFs, within their notes. Despite some differences in the import process and highlighting features, both apps deliver useful document management for essential note-taking.

Document Management

Considering the need for effective document management, both GoodNotes and Notability offer various options for storage, backup, and sharing.

For iCloud syncing, GoodNotes users can enjoy this feature without any additional charges, while it is a part of the subscription package for Notability. Nevertheless, once subscribed, Notability offers cloud services with five different options: iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive. Comparatively, GoodNotes supports only three services, namely iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox.

When it comes to sharing options, there are noticeable differences between the two apps.

Notability provides the feature of link sharing, allowing users to share their notes with others through publicly accessible links.

Furthermore, Notability users can also publish their notes to the Notability Gallery for easier sharing and collaboration. In contrast, GoodNotes permits sharing of individual notes or entire notebooks, albeit without the link sharing feature.

Both applications enable users to markup or annotate imported documents like PDFs, fostering an overlying similarity in their document management approach.

However, it is worth noting that Notability requires a subscription for full access to these features, while GoodNotes provides them with its one-time purchase.

In conclusion, though both GoodNotes and Notability cater to effective document management and organization, there are some differences in their storage, sharing, and navigation features.

Users should choose between the two based on their specific requirements, preferences, and budget constraints.

Final verdict comparison

In conclusion, both GoodNotes and Notability are powerful, efficient, and versatile note-taking apps, catering to the needs of students, professionals, and digital artists alike.

While the similarities between the two are undeniable, the key differences in pricing, customization, collaborative features, and organization can significantly influence the choice based on individual preferences and requirements.

GoodNotes 5 has a more affordable one-time purchase pricing model with no subscription fees, as opposed to Notability’s yearly subscription model.

With a more thorough organization system and infinite nesting folders, GoodNotes is recommended for users who appreciate structure and a high level of customization.

Furthermore, the flashcard maker feature in GoodNotes provides an additional advantage for students and learners.

Notability, on the other hand, offers unique features such as math conversions for equations and an efficient navigation sidebar.

While it requires a subscription for most features, including iCloud syncing and some editing capabilities, Notability is practical for quick and efficient note-taking, especially when it comes to audio recording during lectures or meetings.

When it comes to choosing the best app that suits one’s needs, considering the features, pricing, and personal preferences are crucial.

The GoodNotes app might be the better fit for those valuing a one-time payment, customization, and organization, whereas the Notability app might be more suitable for users who prefer a straightforward, efficient approach with an audio-recording feature.

However, both apps are top-tier recommendations for digital note-taking, making it difficult to make a wrong choice. Experimenting with both apps to find the best fit for individual workflows is highly recommended.